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Brilliant publicity stunt or ridiculous branding? Wheat Thins and Colbert

Branding

Read Time: 2 Min

Stephen Colbert makes me snort-laugh. I know, I know…that is not the most lady-like thing to say, but I keep it real, people.

Now, I realize launching into a discussion about a comedian and my unfortunate laughing disorder in a marketing blog is a little weird … but stay with me, I promise it will all come full circle.

Colbert is known for his machete-sharp wit and seemingly supernatural grasp of the art of sarcasm, both which he deftly wields to expose the absurdities of our society. He points things out with such intelligence and humor that, well, even the most ridiculous topics take on an air of hilarity. Hence, the snort-laugh. It happens. Don’t judge.

One of the latest bits on The Colbert Report features our comic hero deftly applying his deadpan comic grace to a fairly-absurd memo issued by his new sponsor, Wheat Thins. His handling of this is truly brilliant. If you haven’t seen it, the video is posted below.

But let’s dig deeper. Beneath the obvious surface hilarity is the fact this is an actual memo. Yes, sentences such as “Wheat Thins are a snack for anyone who is actively seeking experiences” and they “keep(s) you on the path to, and proud of, doing what you love to do, no matter what that is…” really exist.

Uhhhh, what?

Apparently this is the foundation of Wheat Thins’ brand identity, folks, and Nabisco stands behind it. True, my inner Mulder wants to believe it’s a conspiracy – I wouldn’t put it past a clever marketing department to issue this memo, knowing it would be too good for Colbert to pass up. Fact is, the product got over six minutes of airtime. Publicity stunt or not, that’s not too shabby.

Among some other stellar quotes from this genius “memo”:

Wheat Thins are the perfect snacking sidekick, wherever, whenever and for whatever…

Wheat Thins are not ‘a creator of isolated, un-sharable experiences.’ They are ‘a connector of like-minded people, encouraging sharing.’

And my favorite….

Wheat Thins are not ‘a crusader or rebel looking to change an individual’s path (or the world)

I want to shake this copywriter’s hand. To think, such inspiration from a small, square cracker…

So grab your yellow box and click play on the video below. Just please heed my warning – DO NOT eat more than 16 in one sitting, or you may have the Wheat Thins police on your ass for being a crusader and/or a rebel.

Oh, by the way, you may never look at Cheese Nips the same way again.

https://www.hulu.com/watch/332893/the-colbert-report-wheat-thins-sponsortunity

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